Sunday, November 30, 2008
According to the group, any move to amend the present Constitution before the elections will only serve the interests of a few politicians whose main aim is to continue to hold on to power.
More importantly, the group also stated that with the present global economic crisis looming over the country, it is better for members of the House of Representatives to focus on developing policies and programs that will enable the country to weather the pending economic and financial storm.
According to Robredo, the government should be sensitive to the needs of majority of the Filipinos and focus on creating programs that would help millions of Filipinos move out of poverty.Robredo also cited a recent survey by the SWS showing that majority of Filipinos do not prefer Charter change thus, the present government should take this as a sign that launching Charter change now is ill-timed and will not be welcomed by the people.
Panlilio said that ordinary Filipinos are not so concerned about Charter change given the fact that many of them have to live on a day to day existence.As such, Panlilio challenged the government to be more vigilant in its fight against prevailing social problems such as jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling that continue to hinder the improvement of the quality of life of the poor.
For her part, Lorenzo said that instead of trying to push for Charter change, government leaders should focus its attention on a bigger problem which is the rampant acts of graft and corruption in government as evidenced by scandals that it has been facing for the past years.In addition, Lorenzo said that in her initial consultations with her constituents, majority of them are not for amending the present constitution.
Thus, the movement has launched an online signature and text campaign which encourages Filipinos to join in its bid to oppose moves for Charter change prior to the 2010 national elections.Those interested to sign the online petition can visit http://www.petitiononline.com/nochacha/petition.html or you can text No to Cha Cha and your complete name together with your city, municipality or province to 0922-8570496.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Good day to all of you! :)
Its just a month away from Christmas and I'm sure that many of us are now starting our Christmas shopping for our love ones. Thus, I hope you won't mind if I send you this email and ask for your help towards making Christmas more memorable and meaningful not only to you but more importantly to our less-privileged Filipino brothers and sisters. As such, I would like to ask you to to consider giving any of the following gifts this Christmas because as you buy these gifts you also help provide a better future for our country. Here are my suggested gifts:
a.) Acts of Hope for the Nation (AHON Foundation) Christmas Cards - Did you know that millions of Filipino students reach Grade 6 without even learning how to read? AHON Foundation helps solve that problem by building functional and well-equipped libraries for our public elementary schools. To date, AHON has already helped build 20 public elementary schools in Quezon City, Marikina, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and Bulacan. Each Christmas Card costs P100, P300 and P500 each. For every Christmas card that you buy, a donation will be made under the name of the person you give the card to! If you would like to see the Cards, you can visit this link: http://ahonfoundation.multiply.com/journal/item/26 or you can contact Anna Rojas at email@example.com .
b.) Ashoka-Youth Venture Philippines Memo Holders and T-Shirts - Ashoka-Youth Venture helps train and develop Young people to become positive changemakers in society by helping them develop projects that will solve problems in their community. Some of these projects include tutorial programs for non-readers in their community or organizing preventive health seminars for depressed communities. By helping young people become positive changemakers, Ashoka hopes to be able to create a new generation of Filipinos that will serve as catalysts for change in our society. Each Ashoka-Youth Venture Memo Pad costs only between P100 to P 150 per piece while an Ashoka T-shirt costs only P 170.00 each. If you would like to see the memo holders and the T-Shirt, you can visit: http://filipinochangemaker.blogspot.com/ or you can contact Katrina Wy at firstname.lastname@example.org .
c.) Pathways to Higher Education Organic Products - 6 years ago, Archie Dolit was graduating top of his class from Marikina High School unsure of what the future will hold for him since his parents was only earning less than P 250.00 per day. Through the help of Pathways, Archie was able to not only enter college but also receive a full scholarship from Ateneo de Manila University. Last march, archie graduated with a BS degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE) and is now working at a multi-national company that enables him to help send his other siblings to school. Pathways has helped hundreds of other academically-gifted but financially-disadvantaged students like Archie access quality higher education. Pathways wants to help more young Filipinos reach their dreams and you can make that happen by giving Pathways Organic Products this Christmas. These products range from P 150 to P 250 only! You can check them out at http://www.pathwaysphilippines.org/ or you can contact Pathways at (02) 426-6001 local 4048.
d.) Kaya Natin! Baller Bands - One of the major problems that our country faces today is the lack of transparency and accountability in our government and this is primarily because Good Governance and Ethical Leadership remains only a far off dream for us. Yet, we have seen that in many local government units, good governance is possible and that is what Kaya Natin! espouses. Kaya Natin! is a national movement for good governance and ethical leadership that aims to help support and elect effective and ethical government leaders in our country. Among those who initially convened Kaya Natin! are Ramon Magsaysay Awardees Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City and Gov. Grace Padaca of Isabela, Gov. Ed Panlilio of Pampanga, Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija and Gov. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. of Ifugao. Each baller band costs only P 50 and you can help promote the fight for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership in our country. If you want to see the baller bands, you can visit http://filipinochangemaker.blogspot.com/ or you can contact Kai Pastores at email@example.com .
Please feel free to share this email with your family and friends.
Thank you very much for your time and I hope that you will consider giving these meaningful gifts this Christmas!
Let us continue to hope, pray and work together for a better Philippines!
Sincerely, Harvey S. Keh
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Ashoka Notebook-type Memo Holder with Sticky Notes and Ballpen - P 100.00 per piece
Ashoka is the world's leading organization that promotes Social Entrepreneurship. Youth Venture is Ashoka's main program towards enabling young people to become positive changemakers in their society. By purchasing any of these products, you are helping form more changemakers for our society.
To inquire about these products, you can contact Cristyl Senajon at (02) 426-5657.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LIPA CITY, BATANGAS—Leaders of Kaya Natin! (Yes we can!), a movement for good governance, have expressed hopes that the Senate inquiry into the P728-million fertilizer scam will lead to the criminal prosecution of its perpetrators.
"I'm happy that the Senate investigation on the fertilizer scam has pushed through after several years of waiting but I believe that the probe shouldn't end with the hearings but with the proper filing of charges against those that will be found guilty," said Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City.Robredo was responding to a question asked by a student leader in one of Friday's open forums of Kaya Natin's Caravan of Good Governance held on De La Salle University campuses in Dasmariñas, Cavite, and Batangas.Kaya Natin! was initially convened by the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government.
It is headed by such multiawarded local executives as Robredo, Governors Grace Padaca of Isabela, Ed Panlilio of Pampanga and Teddy Baguilat Jr. of Ifugao and Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.Robredo said he feared that the ongoing Senate hearings would end up like the previous inquiries, such as the NBN-ZTE deal where no one had so far been held accountable.
Lorenzo, whose province is a major rice producer, lamented that the fertilizer scam had shown how insensitive many government officials were to the plight of our farmers."This controversy is very close to my heart since while I regularly see that our farmers continue to subsist on very meager resources, one of the most important resource in their livelihood which is fertilizers is being used as a money-making venture by a few," she said.Lorenzo echoed Robredo's sentiment that the fertilizer scam investigation shouldn't simply be for show but it should be able to hold the guilty parties accountable.
Padaca reiterated the need for Filipinos to elect effective and ethical leaders in the 2010 elections and for young people to be involved actively in safeguarding the sanctity vote by volunteering to serve in poll watchdog groups."We cannot afford to elect government leaders that will just serve the selfish interests of a few and turn a blind eye to the plight of the millions of Filipinos who continue to live in poverty," Padaca said.
For more information about Kaya Natin, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at (02) 426-5657.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
We, the founding members and leaders of Kaya Natin! A national movement that promotes Good Governance and Ethical Leadership would like to commend the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for its decision to suspend the recall petition filed against one of our leaders, Gov. Eddie Panlilio of Pampanga. According to the COMELEC which issued en banc resolution No. 8547, the reason for the suspension is the lack of sufficient funds to conduct recall elections not only in Pampanga but for other areas as well in the Philippines.
We believe that this decision is a victory not only for Gov. Panlilio and Kaya Natin but more importantly for the fight for Good Governance in our country. Thus, we hope that this decision will allow Gov. Panlilio to focus his efforts towards continuing to uplift the quality of life of his constituents through the efficient and effective delivery of basic services. We also appeal to his political opponents to respect the decision of the COMELEC and to set aside partisan politics for the good of the people of Pampanga. Let us allow Gov. Panlilio to finish the remainder of his mandated 3-year term as duly-elected governor of the province and let the 2010 National Elections be the main gauge on whether or not he has been successful in fulfilling the mandate given to him by the Kapampangans. Given the economic and financial crisis that our country is currently facing, we believe that it is only through unity and our collective efforts that the growing problem of poverty can be resolved.
Finally, we appeal to the people of Pampanga to continue to support Gov. Panlilio's crusade for Good Governance through his promotion transparency, accountability and the institutionalization of reforms in the provincial capitol. In the end, we believe that it is only through good governance and ethical leadership that basic services such as provision of livelihood opportunities and access to quality education and healthcare can be delivered to those who need it the most.
Hon. Grace Padaca - Governor, Isabela
Hon. Jesse Robredo - Mayor, Naga City
Hon. Sonia Lorenzo - Mayor, San Isidro, Nueva Ecija
Hon. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. - Governor, Ifugao
Tonette Orejas Central Luzon Desk
November 14, 2008
The Philippine Daily Inquirer
BALANGA CITY, Philippines—The Commission on Elections has stopped acting on all recall cases in the country due to lack of funds, effectively freezing moves to unseat local officials including Pampanga Governor Eddie Panlilio, according to the governor’s lawyer.
Recall petitions had been virtually put in the back burner after the Comelec en banc issued Resolution No. 8547, lawyer Romulo Macalintal disclosed Friday.
Comelec legal officer Ferdinand Rafanan confirmed in a telephone interview the issuance of the resolution on Thursday.
Rafanan said the poll body would “suspend actions on all recall petition filed and pending before this commission until funds are made available.”
Rafanan said the move followed the failure of Congress to consider the request of the Comelec for additional funds to hold recall elections.
Comelec Chair Jose Melo had said the agency had only a budget of P5 million for all recall cases.
Rafanan could not say how many cases were filed and pending before the commission, saying only that these were numerous.
Melo had estimated that a recall election in Pampanga alone needed P40 million.
“I believe the recall petition against Panlilio, aside from being fatally defective, could no longer move,” Macalintal said.
The Kapanalig at Kambilan ning Memalen Pampanga Inc. (Kambilan) sought to remove Panlilio claiming loss of confidence after the governor refused to implement a new quarry law proposed by mayors. It also called attention to a perjury case dogging Panlilio over his alleged misdeclaration of election campaign contributions and his alleged illegal reassignments of doctors in public hospitals.
The recall petition was filed on October 15.
“It will die a natural death. As a matter of fact, it’s dead,” Macalintal said.
He said time constraints would prevent the holding of recall elections before the one-year ban on such exercises was put in effect in May 2009.
Rosve Henson, Kambilan president, called the suspension a “very sad development for all pending petitions around the country.”
“Citizens will be deprived of their constitutional guarantee to file recall petitions,” Henson said.
He said the recall petition was a “safeguard available to the electorate, and there should be no hindrance or delay for the petition to take its due course, not even funding constraints.”
He said that the lack of funds was not a concern of petitioners, “because as far as we are concerned, the funding requirements of recall are beyond our control.”
Henson added, “What we are after here is the Comelec’s decision on whether or not the recall petition in Pampanga is sufficient in form and substance.”
Vice Governor Joseller Guiao, who supports the recall move against Panlilio, said the recall petition should move forward.
“[The Comelec resolution] does not cover Pampanga. The [signature-gathering] process is finished on the ground. That will apply to prospective petitions,” Guiao said.
Two weeks ago, the Comelec and the Department of Budget and Management shot down proposed Ordinance 294 through which the provincial board planned to allot P25 million for the recall elections against Panlilio.
Citing the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160), the agencies said recall elections should only be funded by the Comelec.
The Comelec said it did not want to seek funds from the DBM because a “recourse [to that agency] might give the impression that since it is under the Office of the President, government funds are being used for the recall of those not politically aligned.”
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Lipa City, Batangas - "I'm happy that the Senate investigation on the fertilizer scam has pushed thru after several years of waiting but I believe that the probe shouldn't end with the hearings but with the proper filing of charges to those that will be found guilty during the course of the investigation." This was the answer of multi-awarded Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City to a question asked by a university student leader about the on-going fertilizer scam hearings in one of the open forums at Kaya Natin's Caravan of Good Governance held last Friday at the De La Salle University campuses in Dasmarinas, Cavite and Batangas. Kaya Natin! is a national movement for good governance initially convened by the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government and is led by local government leaders such as Robredo, Gov. Grace Padaca of Isabela, Gov. Eddie Panlilio of Pampanga, Gov. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. of Ifugao and Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. Robredo further added that he fears that the on-going Senate hearings may just go the route of the previous Senate hearings such as the NBN-ZTE deal wherein there has been no government official who has been held accountable for these anomalous dealings. For her part, Gov. Padaca reiterated the need for Filipinos to be able to elect effective and ethical servant leaders in the upcoming 2010 National Elections and at the same time, for young people to actively be involved in safeguarding the sanctity of the election process by volunteering for election watch groups such as NAMFREL and PPCRV. "We cannot afford to elect government leaders that will just serve the selfish interests of a few and turn a blind eye to the plight of the millions of Filipinos who continue to live in poverty" added Gov. Padaca. Mayor Lorenzo, who comes from Nueva Ecija, considered to be the rice capital of the country, lamented that the fertilizer scam has shown how insensitive many government officials are to the plight of our farmers. According to Mayor Lorenzo, "This controversy is very close to my heart since while I regularly see that our farmers continue to subsist on very meager resources, one of the most important resource in their livelihood which is fertilizers is being used as a money-making venture by a few." Mayor Lorenzo echoed Mayor Robredo's sentiment that the fertilizer scam investigations shouldn't simply be for show but it should be able to hold the guilty parties accountable for their actions.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We do not have to look far to see that people want to see change in our country, Pampanga, Isabela and Naga City are good examples of how people have matured to choose the right leaders to lead them to a better quality of life.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
By Marichu A. Villanueva Friday, November 7, 2008
The Philippine Star
The historic election into the White House of the first African-American, Sen. Barack Obama have served to inspire many leading Filipino politicians who dream of being elected also to the highest office of our land. But not all well-meaning public officials need to aspire for the presidency if really they want to serve our people in general.
The Democrat Senator from Illinois routed Republican candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona in one of the quickest contests in the US presidential race. Some of our homegrown political leaders, too, especially those who have moist eyes towards the May 2010 presidential elections, identify themselves with Obama who defied the great odds against him.
In his victory speech immediately after McCain graciously conceded to him, Obama made stirring statements on how his being voted to become the new President meant to the American people, of whatever creed or color, to pursue the “American Dream” in the US.
With his wife Michelle and two daughters behind him, Obama rallied his audience: “…To reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth — that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, We Can!”
It reminded me of the “Yes, We Can!” battle cry of business leader Jose “Joecon” Concepcion during his stint as secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry under the Aquino administration. Joecon unceasingly pushed this “Yes, We Can!” campaign to prod Filipino industry and business leaders they can break into the world market and break they did!
But long before Obama made this “Yes, We Can!” declaration, an academe-based group from the Ateneo de Manila have started a new movement they called “Yes, We Can! Kaya Natin!” One of its key organizers is Harvey S. Keh, director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government.
With the results of the US presidential elections last Wednesday already sealed for Obama, two of the “Yes, We Can! Kaya Natin!” leaders visited us at The STAR office — Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca and Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija. The two local government officials are among their group’s “models” for good governance whom Harvey Keh fondly describes as “our own little Obamas.”
Gov. Padaca and Mayor Lorenzo swore they are no presidential wannabes even as they, too, admit being inspired by Obama’s feat. Both of them are very humble about their track record as local public officials who lead by example on good governance. In fact, they have been going around the country to promote the good governance principles in practice before students of public administration in colleges and universities.
Harvey sent me a copy of a blog where he shared his views on Obama’s victory in relation to their group’s advocacy. With his group’s permission, I am reprinting it here:
“As the United States of America’s President-elect Barack Obama was delivering his victory speech in Chicago, a sense of inspiration and hope began to fill me up. Here was a young African-American, first-term Senator who has defied all odds to become the first Black President of the most powerful country in the world. Obama campaigned on the message of Change, a Change that every American could believe in, a Change that resonated with so many American voters most especially those aged between 18-29 years old. In CNN’s analysis, one of the major factors for Obama’s victory was his charismatic appeal to young voters. This appeal, along with his very inspiring words would rally millions of young and previously apathetic American voters to register and take part in the elections. Obama also showed the world a new way of campaigning, earning hundreds of millions of dollars not by getting big donations from businessmen but by appealing to ordinary people to donate small amounts of $5 to $10 to his campaign. More importantly, Obama’s campaign team was a master of using the power of the internet and social networking sites such as Twitter, My Space and Facebook, thereby being able to relate to the younger, tech-savvy generation. He ended his speech with the words “Yes, We Can” and he showed the world that despite having not enough financial resources or political clout compared to Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. John McCain when he launched his bid for the Presidency more than two years ago, he was able to win decisively because he was able to rally ordinary people to his cause. Indeed, change has come to America and Filipinos can learn much from the experience of Barack Obama. As we draw near to our Presidential elections in 2010, will we have to content ourselves again with choosing from the same faces, or worse, choosing between the lesser evil among the candidates? I hope not. I look forward to the day that we can also find a true Filipino leader who will also inspire millions of Filipinos to rally for change, a change that millions of Filipinos have been longing for and a change that will hopefully, put an end to the growing poverty cycle that majority of Filipinos have to face each day. Many Filipinos have begun to lose hope in finding that leader but I think that we have our own little Obamas in our country today such as the likes of Ramon Magsaysay Awardees Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City and Gov. Grace Padaca of Isabela, Gov. Eddie Panlilio of Pampanga, Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija and Gov. Teddy Baguilat Jr. of Ifugao. These local government leaders have defied the odds in their respective areas to win against well-entrenched political dynasties and at the same time, deliver proper basic services to their constituents. Being with them in our group which is aptly named Kaya Natin, we go around to different colleges and universities to share their stories of hope and change towards inspiring more Filipinos to work for good governance. Obama was not entirely correct when he said it is only in the United States of America where someone can defy the odds and win, our own Kaya Natin! leaders have shown that Filipinos can also say, “Yes, We Can! Kaya Natin!”
For more information about Kaya Natin! – email@example.com or at (02) 4265657.
by: Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Times - November 7,2008
So it’s President-elect Barack Obama.
Before the elections, I watched a CNN feature story on the impact of the youth vote. According to the report millions of young Americans decided to register and practice their right to choose between Democratic Party Candidate Ba-rack Obama or Republican Party Candidate John McCain. Analysts said that the opinion polls showed that these young people, many of them first-time voters, would most likely vote for Obama.
A major reason for Obama’s strong support from the youth is his charisma and his clear message of change in American politics. Another reason is that Obama is able to speak the language of the youth by making use of the Internet particularly social networking sites such as Twitter and My Space in getting his message across to people. When Obama first declared that he would run for President, many people didn’t even give him a chance to win against more experienced and well-funded former first lady, Senator Hillary Clinton. I have always told people that Obama’s strength as a candidate is a product of a confluence of events wherein many Americans were very dissatisfied with the performance of current President George W. Bush and thus, they were looking for a new symbol of hope and change in their government.
If Bush had done a decent job as president, I don’t think a first-time senator such as Obama would not have had a decent shot at the presidency.
It is largely because the youth came out strong for Senator Obama that America now has its first African-American president-elect.
In some regard, we are in a similar situation here in the Philippines where surveys by the SWS and Pulse Asia have consistently shown that majority of Filipinos are unhappy with the performance of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. As we all know, her administration has been accused of being one of the most corrupt in recent history. Thus, it is no wonder her trust ratings continue to be at an all-time low. This has led many groups such as the Movement for Good Governance and Convergence to think already about the 2010 national elections wherein we will be electing our next president. As in the just finished elections in America, the Filipino youth will play a major role if it chooses to. The 2010 elections will be the first time that majority of the Filipino voters will come from those who are aged between 18 and 40 years old. The candidate who can muster this sector will stand a good chance of claiming victory. So far, there seems to be no presidentiable who has the Obama effect on our youth, an effect that will generate excitement, a sense of hope and proactive involvement from young Filipino voters.
In my conversations with my students and volunteers, they tell me that they can’t see anyone among the present crop of candidates who reflect the values of good governance, ethical leadership and genuine change in our country. Many of them even told me that they are not inclined to vote since they feel that whoever will win among the present crop will just be the same. With this situation, there is a growing need now for alternative candidates who can symbolize a clear message of hope and change for our country.
Many people have told me that an upright and principled leader can never become president because by being upright he is not corrupt and thus, does not have enough funds to wage a presidential campaign which political experts estimate to be at least 1 billion pesos.
The Obama effect has shown us that by harnessing the power of young people, an alternative candidate may actually be able to have a fighting chance against well-entrenched politicians.
As the Ramon Magsaysay Awardee and good Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo has always said in his speeches at our Kaya Natin! Campus tours, “Ang prob-lema ng Pilipino ay parati tayong bumuboto dun sa alam nating mananalo, dapat siguro bumoto na tayo hindi dun sa mananalo kundi dun sa tama.” In addition to this, Mayor Robredo tells us that by choosing the right leader for our country, we can expect the right basic services to be delivered to every Filipino.
I think that the time is ripe now for Filipinos especially the youth to take control of our country’s future and finally find that right leader who will put the interests of majority of Filipinos above his or her own self-interest. If there is one good thing the Arroyo administration has taught us, it is that we should think critically and decide carefully before we vote for our next president.
[Harvey S. Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship for the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government (ASOG).]
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
For more information about Kaya Natin!, you can contact Kai Pastores at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (02) 426-5657.
*Harvey S. Keh is Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government. He is also part of Kaya Natin!